Having just moved from the farm to the suburbs, we’re only allowed a half-dozen chickens, which means…we have a few in the freezer now.
Circle of life, baby.
This is my favorite recipe for using a yard-bird that is a bit past her prime, and one that was handed down from my grandmother, who kept her own small flock for the family’s eggs and an occasional pot of soup.
This is classic Southern comfort food at it’s best. If you’re not wild about dumplings, you can leave them out, and ladle this soup over fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits, as well.
Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplin’s
- 1 large broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp powdered sage
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs grapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons chicken base
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- hot water
- Southern style dumplings (recipe below)
In a heavy-bottom pot, melt the butter with oil over medium heat, and brown the chicken pieces (including back) with salt & pepper. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add celery, carrots, onion (Mire Poix), parsley, sage, and garlic to the pot, and saute until just softened, scraping up any browned bits left from the chicken.
Add chicken back into the pot, along with chicken broth and base; add enough hot water to cover chicken.
Home Chef Note: Unless specified, you always want to add heated liquid to a hot dish, otherwise the drop in temperature and adversely effect the cooking time and texture of the recipe.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until chicken is done.
Remove chicken and let stand until cool enough to handle, then remove skin from chicken and tear meat away from bones. Return meat to soup; discard skin and bones.
Taste for seasonings, and add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
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Drop dumplings into simmering soup. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Southern Style Dumplings
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk milk
- 3/4 cup homemade chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons oil
Combine all; mix well to form a stiff batter.
Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup.
Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Home Chef Note: Traditionally, the dumplings start out as round, ping-pong size balls. If you prefer something a little less dense, try making them about half that size, and flattening into 1/2 inch thick coins, before adding to the soup. This will result in more dumplings, that are less of a mouthful each.